josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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16 Apr '13 09:25:53 PM

'Whatever I can steal.'

14 Apr '13 07:49:23 AM

—So there can be something perverse about criticism.

14 Apr '13 07:42:54 AM

In a way, criticism looks to unmake what has been made, so that it can understand how it works.

Where an artist has worked, criticism unworks.

14 Apr '13 07:32:42 AM

In general, characters don't talk enough about each other. They react less than people do.

13 Apr '13 11:26:59 PM

'I think this is very much the way Americans are given to speak—not in some dismay that they haven't another way to speak, but, rather, that they feel that they, perhaps more than any other group of people upon the earth at this moment, have had both to imagine and thereby to make that reality which they are then given to live in.'

13 Apr '13 11:23:35 PM

There is something conditional about grammatical necessity, but failure to satisfy the relevant conditions rarely has results as settled or as exhaustive as the alternatives, 'makes sense', or 'nonsense', suggest. Instead, the results are usually open, various, sometimes unsettled. Art relies somehow on this openness. In this respect the artist is something like the person in the Tractatus (6.422) subject to an ethical law. Faced with a grammatical necessity, '… must…', an artist's first thought is: 'and what if I don't?'. And then they try it out.

13 Apr '13 05:14:58 AM

The shoots melt the snow around them with their own heat.

13 Apr '13 02:17:50 AM

Academics are like lawyers: they don't want to be caught asking questions they don't know the answers to.

13 Apr '13 02:16:55 AM

K. was always completely at a loss about what art was. She'd barely venture to say anything about it. I can talk without knowing—I don't feel like I'll lose my way or need to stop for directions—but I could stand to make it clear that I (think we) don't know what art is. You make that sort of thing clear, I think, not by hedging and qualifying, but by asking the right sorts of questions; by asking them openly.